Rollover Information
To the Ends of the Earth

Author William Golding

1911 - 1993

Born in Cornwall in 1911, William Golding was educated at Marlborough and Brasenose College, Oxford. He worked in theatre as a writer, actor and producer before becoming a teacher.

Golding married Ann Brookfield in 1939; their first child, David, was born the following year.

In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy. During World War II, Golding spent time on board various ships and in other capacities -- he served on board the HMS Galatea in the North Atlantic, as a guard in Liverpool and in a weapons research unit. He took part in the naval support of the D Day landings, in command of landing craft vessels.

In 1945, the Goldings' daughter Judith was born and Golding left the Navy to return to teaching.

He achieved commercial success as a writer with the publication in 1954 of Lord of the Flies, a novel he had originally entitled Strangers from Within. It was an immediate success in both England and in the United States, achieving "contemporary classic" status. Although he published several more books during the next few years, it wasn't until 1962 that Golding finally gave up teaching and became a full-time writer.

His celebrity was enhanced when Peter Brook's film of Lord of the Flies was released in 1963. The film was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes. (A second version of the novel, starring Balthazar Getty, was released in 1990.)

In 1980 Rites of Passage, the first of his powerful sea trilogy, was published. It won the Booker McConnell Prize; in 1983 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1987 he published a sequel, Close Quarters. He completed the sea trilogy in 1989 with the final book, Fire Down Below. He revised the trilogy two years later, when he was eighty years old, to make the single volume To the Ends of The Earth.

In 1988, when he was seventy-seven, he was knighted. He died of heart failure in 1993 and is buried near his family home in Wiltshire.


Works by William Golding

Poems1934
Lord of the Flies1954
The Inheritors1955
Pincher Martin1956
The Brass Butterfly1958
Free Fall1959
The Spire1964
The Hot Gates1965
The Pyramid1967
The Scorpion God1971
Darkness Visible1979Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Rites of Passage1980Winner of the Booker Prize
A Moving Target1982
The Paper Men1984
An Egyptian Journal1985
Close Quarters1987
Fire Down Below1989
To the Ends of the Earth1991
The Double Tongue1995


WGBH Logo PBS logo

©

Masterpiece Theatre To the Ends of the Earth

Masterpiece is sponsored by: